Before I tell you what a Kadam flower is and where they can be found, I should probably mention that this project was literally one of the “kismet” moments. I work part time for a company that owns several websites, one of those being a travel site. I moderate photos that are submitted by users. One day one of those photos just happened to be this beautiful flower from the Kadam tree, submitted by someone in Bangladesh.
The Kadam tree (Neolamarckia cadamba) is a tropical evergreen native to South and Southeast Asia. It grows up to 45 meters. Umm. That’s almost 150 FEET tall! Of course, that’s if it’s growing in optimal conditions, most likely in India somewhere. Apparently they are available here in the U.S., though I have never seen them, and chances are closer to 40 feet tall is more likely here. Here’s some more information at the website Dave’s Garden.
Here are some photos of the beautiful blooms that populate this giant of a tree. Photo credits below.
So when I looked at the Kadam flower picture that came through my moderation queue and thought back to the flower project I had featured recently, I immediately knew what I wanted to make.
I actually have to admit that when I featured the flowers from Homemade Ginger, I scrolled through her post, but didn’t really read the instructions. However I did notice that in her version the color was on the outside. She did that by brilliantly rolling the finished bloom through food coloring.
With a Kadam flower, the color is actually toward the inside and the tips of the flower are white. I wanted to replicate that look, so I made mine a little differently. After inserting a wooden dowel into each Styrofoam ball, I then painted them yellow. I actually used some stencil paint, simply because it’s much thicker than regular acrylics, but acrylics will certainly do the job just fine.
Then after cutting the Q-Tips in half, I held the fuzzy end and dipped the cut end into some water tinted with yellow Rit dye. I dipped the Q-Tip just far enough for the colored water to creep up the cotton, but not enough to cover it completely, leaving the tips white.
I used one of the cut Q-Tips to poke holes in the ball first, to make it easier to add the colored swabs. Then I dipped the cut end into white glue and inserted it into the hole.
This was not a difficult project by any means, but it was time consuming. I actually counted the Q-Tips on just one of the balls and there were 160 tips, so 80 cotton swabs were used for one!
I really do like the way they look. I made a few different ones and think the ones with the tips closer together look nicer. A fun way to spruce up a room!
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